Latvala Wins 2012 Rally Sweden For Ford!

This past weekend the second round of the 2012 WRC season, Rally Sweden, the only real winter rally of the series was won by Jari Latvala in a Ford Fiesta.  Latvala had a very close battle with Hirvonen, beating the Citroen driver by about 17 seconds. Mads Ostberg , in a great result for a privateer, finished third in another Ford Fiesta RS.

Sebastian Loeb went off the road on Stage 7 losing about 2 minutes and had to battle back for the rest of the rally, but he had to settle for sixth place overall.  However, Loeb did win the power stage, picking up an additional 3 points.

The top ten finishers in 2012 Rally Sweden are presented below:

2012 Rally Sweden Top Ten Results

Pos

Driver

 

 

Time

Diff
  1st

1.

J. LATVALA

Ford Fiesta RS

3:18:28.3

0.0

2.

M. HIRVONEN

Citroen DS 3

3:18:44.9

+16.6

3.

M. ØSTBERG

Ford Fiesta RS

3:19:07.1

+38.8

4.

P. SOLBERG

Ford Fiesta RS

3:19:42.6

+1:14.3

5.

E. NOVIKOV

Ford Fiesta RS

3:21:09.7

+2:41.4

6.

S. LOEB

Citroen DS 3

3:21:23.4

+2:55.1

7.

H. SOLBERG

Ford Fiesta

3:22:17.8

+3:49.5

8.

P. SANDELL

MINI

3:23:37.2

+5:08.9

9.

M. PROKOP

Ford Fiesta RS

3:23:58.3

+5:30.0

10.

E. BRYNILDSEN

Ford Fiesta RS

3:24:55.5

+6:27.2

In interesting non-finish, Daniel Sordo retired in his MINI due to engine problems.

Latvala Wins 2012 Rally Sweden

Looking at the top 10 finishers, the number of Ford cars is impressive.  Ford has done a good job of putting good drivers in their cars, either as official team cars or well-funded privateers.  The results of this apparent strategy are evident in the results of Rally Sweden.  Loeb’s Citroen goes off the road, loses about 2 minutes and then four Ford Fiesta RS cars finish ahead of him.  This is a great strategy to minimize Citroen’s point accumulation if any of the two Citroen team cars have problems during a rally.  This puts extra pressure on the Citroen drivers to do well.  Now, just to be clear, I don’t know if this is a true Ford strategy, but it certainly benefits the Ford WRC teams.  So if it wasn’t a planned strategy by Ford, then it should have been.

In the overall WRC standings after two events, Loeb leads with 39 points, seven ahead of Hirvonen and ten ahead of Petter Solberg, while Latvala now has 26 points.

The WRC series will resume in Léon, Mexico on March 8th with the 25th Rally Guanajuato México.

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